An observer of this world who reads, writes and occasionally does arithmetic
First thing people notice is the angle of the house.
After a brief glance in that direction, one’s neck tends to stay at a slant for hours.
Perhaps the tilt is due to the weight of the residents thoughts.
Aluminum foil for curtains always has newcomers perplexed.
The second from bottom porch step is still painted red, and threatens to unhinge.
I rap on the no-screen door, and the sound has that tin drum echo.
As I’m beckoned to enter, the aroma of last night’s trout escorts me into the room.
No need to speak, he knows it’s me.
Ziggy has the ability to see my thoughts before they are completed.
I know the first time we met, his stare counted the holes in my heart, scrapes on my back.
Today was a visit for the mother lode of advice. Will I be happy again?
I drag the backless chair from its spot behind the itchy blanket which served as a door.
A pencil is perched in the Medusa spirals falling from his crown.
Ever present toothpick vibrating between his smoked too many something lips.
I did not have to say anything. He knew what I knew before I knew.
As I look around the room, something catches my eye on the table.
He withdrew a pencil from the mass of snakes, wets the tip and speaks.
“Before I answer your burning question, I have one for you”.
Now the sweat is forming under my arms, I know I look off balance, like the house.
The wise one is asking me for help. He should know already what lurks in my head.
He refolds the paper on his plywood tabletop, looks at me and asks,
“What is a three letter word for dog?”
Like a kid I blurt out, “Cur”.
He leans back in his has-a-back chair, winks at me, re-wets the lead and replies,
“Stay away from those and you will always be happy”
(This is a true story from my early 20′s. The image is not of Ziggy but is a remarkable likeness of him)
First Published at Red Fez online zine.